While over half of Americans claim to be Christian, the number of the unaffiliated has increased from 14 million in 1990 to 34 million in 2008. A new book explores the boundaries between belief and unbelief in a changing culture.
Bernadette Meaden reviews the book that many radical Christians have been waiting for. It shows, she says, how spirituality can be a unifying, liberating force, and how looking at the world from a Jesus perspective can be joyful and life-enhancing.
In his final Thought for the Day on BBC Radio 4, on Saturday 22 December 2012, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, talked about the recent killings in Connecticut and discounted the argument often put forward that "it's not guns that kill, it's people".
In today's world we face a vast range of human practices which are overlapping and do not function as religious or secular solely or discreetly, says Francis Stewart. He illustrates this in relation to his extensive research into punk music.
Digital democracy and the huge expansion of social media is transforming political action and diplomacy, says Dr Harry Hagopian, who has been expanding his own involvement in that arena, not least due to his regular podcasts on developments in the Middle East and North Africa. He looks especially at social media's impact in that region.
If Welby can hold on to his emphasis on enabling ‘ordinary’ Christians, and those of their neighbours who are seeking a more just and compassionate world, he can offer the kind of leadership needed at a time when idols have been falling, says Savi Hensman, a long-standing commentator on Anglican affairs and church and society issues.
Describing another personal Armenian-Turkish encounter, Dr Harry Hagopian feels that "it is important for us Armenians nearing the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide in 2015 to start distinguishing ordinary Turkish men and women from Turkish officialdom or many of its politicised institutions let alone from Turkey and Azerbaijan."
In The Mystical as Political: Democracy and Non-Radical Orthodoxy, to be published on 25 October 2012, Aristotle Papanikolaou explores the question of whether Orthodox Christianity and liberal democracy are mutually exclusive worldviews.
Drawing on a public conversation at Edinburgh’s Festival of Spirituality and Peace on the theme ‘Disorganised Religion’ earlier this summer (2012), Michael Marten reflects on the nature of religion and the way it is morphing, changing and being challenged in the contemporary era.